Maguire suffers another early exit

Blackpool Citizen: Ken Doherty celebrates his first-round victory at The Crucible Ken Doherty celebrates his first-round victory at The Crucible

Stephen Maguire tumbled out of the Dafabet World Championship in an all-too-familiar heartbreaking fashion as Welsh qualifier Ryan Day claimed the Scot's scalp on Sunday.

For the third time in the last four years, and on a night of high drama at the Crucible, former world number two Maguire went out in the first round as he was overturned 10-9.

The 33-year-old Glaswegian had endured a largely disappointing season before coming to Sheffield, but reserved his best performances for the majors, reaching the quarter-finals of the UK Championship and semi-finals of the Masters.

This time, on the most famous stage in snooker, his performance and demeanour were flat until at 8-4 adrift he happened on prime form, firing in breaks of 56, 134, 58, 74 and 91 to force a deciding frame.

World number 20 Day had been one frame away at 9-6 and the 34-year-old held his nerve under the intense pressure of the decider to make 92 and tee up a possible second-round clash with Judd Trump.

A frustrated Maguire said: "I wish I got beaten 10-4 now. I could be in the pub just now. But obviously, I'm going to fight to the death because it's the Worlds.

"I'm actually glad the season's finished. It's been a season from hell for me. I'll forget about this in half an hour."

He added: "When it went to the decider I thought I was favourite. I had a chance in that last frame and couldn't take it and Ryan made a good break there."

Day said: "I enjoyed it all the way to the end. He came back strongly and played three really good frames. In the decider I managed to keep control of the cue ball and my emotions more importantly to finish it off.

"I'm over the moon. I thought it was a tremendous match. I know how tenacious Stephen is and I knew he was going to fight to the death. I was just hoping for a chance in the last frame and I got it."

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